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Sale of Apartment Complex Near Vandenberg AFB Largest in Area Since 2007

Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments this week announced the sale of the 122-unit Vandenberg Garden Apartments located near Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Although the final terms were undisclosed, escrow closed March 20 on the property, listed at $14 million.

Radius said the deal marks the largest sale of multifamily property in the North County since La Vista in Santa Maria changed hands in 2011 for $42 million. It’s also the largest in the Lompoc vicinity since the sale of Windscape Village in 2007 for $42.3 million.

Radius brokers Steve Golis and Brian Johnson represented both the seller and the buyer, an investment firm based in San Francisco.

“I was approached last year by the sellers, a local family who has held onto these properties since 1977,” Golis said. “Like many right now, they knew market conditions were optimal to sell.”

The complex, which comprises the Driftwood Apartments, Dunes Apartments and Spindrift Apartments, is situated on about 6.5 acres in the quiet Lompoc community of Vandenberg Village roughly a half-mile from the military base.

“The past few years our biggest challenge has been a lack of inventory, throughout the entire county,” Golis said. “This has contributed to a drop off in the number of transactions, as there were just nine sales of apartment properties larger than five units in Lompoc in 2013, and there would definitely have been more if there were more properties on the active market.”

Despite this limited inventory, the Vandenberg deal continues the recent rush of big apartment transactions in Santa Barbara County, particularly on the South Coast. Harbor Heights Manor near Santa Barbara City College traded earlier this year after listing for $33 million, setting a record for Santa Barbara. Additionally, The Loop near UCSB sold for nearly $29.3 million in the third quarter of 2013.

“Certainly the quality of all three of these properties and their proximity to major educational institutions and the Air Force base were key factors in these sales,” Golis said. “Commercial investors also understand the value of apartments as they see the potential for growth in rental rates spurred on by a stronger job market and a tightening supply of rental housing.”

— Vince Coronado is the marketing director for Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments.

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